Jn 14:15-16, 23b-26
If You Love Me
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (v. 15)
"Whoever loves me will keep my word." (v. 23)
Jesus told the disciples these two sentences during the Last Supper. He had washed their feet, and told them to learn from his example of humble and loving service. He then told them that one of them, "to whom I hand the morsel" would betray him. He also warned Peter of his denial of Jesus.
This context can help us understand more deeply the meaning of Jesus' invitation of loving him. He has loved us first. He even laid down his life for his friends.
He also gives us, in his own death, the example of loving the Father to the point of death to fulfill the Father's loving plan of salvation for humanity.
In this context, Jesus teaches us the true meaning of love. Often times, God's commandments are seen as restrictions and burden. People have accused Christianity of taking away freedom. Understood correctly, however, God's commandments are the result of God's love for us. The commandments give us true freedom and the dignity of God's children, who are capable of loving.
And we can truly keep the commandments and listen to God's word only if we love God first.
It's not an easy task. Therefore, the Risen Christ gives us a helper. "The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”